From ransomware to cloud-based data breaches to exploits against mobile devices, there are many different ways in which healthcare cybersecurity can be attacked. And while the industry has always needed to be on its guard to protect sensitive and valuable healthcare information, the recent spread of COVID-19 has added a new issue of cyberattacks against healthcare organizations.
Moving forward, it will be majorly important to ensure that information communication technology infrastructure is secure, something that has become more complicated due to the advent and integration of mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, which are used by professionals in the healthcare industry. But on top of securing mobile devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) can become particularly weak and need to be properly secured and updated at regular intervals.
What are the top cyberattacks in healthcare?
The healthcare industry has seen a sharp rise in cyber crimes. In fact, different Cybersecurity News outlets point out that 89% of healthcare organizations experienced a data breach in the past two years. Despite the sophisticated measures put in place by providers to prevent data breaches, they are only becoming more common and more egregious.
With this in mind it’s important to look at the kinds of cybersecurity issues that face healthcare organizations today:
Security and compliance risks are top considerations as healthcare organizations move huge amounts of sensitive data, and the weight placed on the IT staff is a challenge of operating healthcare IT workloads in the cloud.
Unsecured Mobile Devices
Another major challenge facing the healthcare industry today in terms of cybersecurity is trying to secure mobile devices. With hospitals and doctor’s offices using this kind of technology (i.e. tablets and phones) more freely, exchanging and holding more sensitive information than before, there needs to be a high level of focus on securing networks and devices all the same.
Ransomware is expected to be a major information security threat to the industry moving forward. Mostly executed through phishing attacks, ransomware is targeting healthcare organizations like never before, stealing sensitive medical data and holding it for a financial payout. Organizations need to determine where their weaknesses are in this area and the most effective paths where an outside adversary could bring in the cyberattack.
IoT and connected healthcare are bringing some major changes and opportunities to the industry. But they also raise some major challenges related to security and data privacy. For instance, wearable technology has become commonplace in the industry as doctors and nurses use smartwatches and smartphones to monitor vitals and get relayed information needed for their patients on the fly. The downside is that IoT devices are not capable of supporting an endpoint security agent, meaning they don’t have the ability to block malicious behaviors or an attack.
While people are the ones in charge of the technology used in healthcare settings, they are also capable of making mistakes that are just as costly. Lack of employee awareness and education around cybersecurity presents a serious threat in the industry. Security policies might be great to have, but they mean nothing without the proper training of employees.
About Highland Risk
At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With three offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Burlington, Connecticut, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.